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DE Congressional race "Red to Blue" target

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

The Democratic candidate for Delaware’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives will be getting some extra support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Former Lt. Governor John Carney’s bid to take the seat currently held by Republican Mike Castle is one of 13 targeted by the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program.  The program will provide financial and structural support to the Democrats vying to take districts now held by the GOP.

“It’s an indication of the strength of our campaign, and that we have been connecting with voters across the state,”  said Carney.

The Delaware seat is in play after Congressman Castle decide to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Delaware rather than seek a 10th term in the House.

Carney says the additional funding and support won’t change the tenor of his campaign.

“The simple reality is that it costs money, unfortunately, to communicate with voters.  The most important part of our democracy is to tell voters why you’re running and in my case, it’s to bring common sense solutions to Washington,” said Carney.  “My focus is, obviously is on communicating with Delawareans and listening to them.  Frankly, they have some of the best ideas about how to create jobs through small businesses and address the problems we face.”

Tom Ross, state committee chair for the Delaware Republican party, is not surprised that the Delaware Congressional race is drawing added attention.

“We don’t take anything for granted.  The fact that the Democrats want to come here and try to buy the race with national money doesn’t really intimidate us.  It’s something we’ve been planning on.” said Ross.  “At the end of the day, it’s the voters of Delaware that get to decide who’s going to be their representative.  I’m very confident that come November we’re going to have a Republican in the House of Representatives from Delaware.”

Who that Republican will be remains a question mark.  A number of Republicans have announced they’re running, including Fred Cullis, Rose Izzo and Glen Urquhart, but none has the name recognition or fund raising capacity of Carney.  One person who does, businesswoman and lawyer  Michele Rollins, the widow of multimillionaire John Rolliins,  is mulling a run according to Ross.

“The fact that Michele Rollins has shown some interest has been amazing.  My phone’s been ringing off the hook over here at Republican headquarters,”  Ross said.  “In terms  of resources, and name ID, and just a compelling life story with everything she’s accomplished, I think not only would she be a quality candidate, she’d be a winning candidate.”

Rollins is currently chair of Rollins Jamaica and Rose Hall, the Rollins’ luxury resort in Jamaica.  She serves on the Wilmington Trust Co. board of directors and previously worked in Washington, D.C. at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the EPA, and the Department of Interior.

Carney faces a primary with Scott Spencer of Wilmington in September before the November general election.


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